Sunday, January 6, 2013

My Feelings on the Biggest Loser

A new season of the biggest loser is starting, and I guess some would believe that I'd be very excited about it. I mean this is a show about folks losing extreme amounts of weight under extreme measures, and we as the TV viewing public get to watch it. Those transformations are pretty amazing when you think about it.

I remember watching a season several years ago. This was right after I had gained all my weight back after the Low Carb debacle. So I watched the season, and it was inspiring? I don't know. If anything, I got feelings of extreme jealously. I mean... why couldn't that be me? Could I be on the show? Could they help me? At the time, if I'd had been on that show, I probably would have been the largest female contestant in the show's history.

It was also disheartening and disgusting. Watching people workout to the point of vomiting. Crying. Snorting and spitting. Watching challenges where they tempt you with donuts, chips, cakes, and loads of other garbage. I remember seeing one of these challenges and thinking, why are they doing this? Would a group therapy session tempt an alcoholic with a room full of alcohol. Or tempt a drug addict with a room full of cocaine? That's the hardest thing about food addiction. You don't have to drink alcohol or take drugs for your body to sustain itself, but you have to eat food. You can't quit food cold turkey. So, why the temptation if the show is meant to teach and learn.

I thought it was embarrassing and degrading. We get to watch these people who are struggling to lose weight be tempted by a challenge with all of these foods that some of them started to binging on. I can't really remember what the challenge was about, but I do remember how I felt watching it. I felt like shit afterwards. It was like watching myself in one of my binging episodes. Not inspiring. Not motivating.

I also saw some contestants tanking up lots of water who were immune for getting kicked off so they were guaranteed to lose the largest percentage at the next weigh in. Sounds like gamesmanship... not learning how to live again. I guess the money was most important - and not the weight loss? I don't know.

Lastly, are these results realistic? Has there really been a where are they know Biggest Loser show? We always hear about the successes and love connections...the happy stuff. But, I wonder if all those contestants keep the weight off and used their learning from the show to truly transform their life once they returned to reality. Living on BL ranch on a 1,200 calorie working out 6 hours a day isn't reality. We have jobs, families, and responsibilities. You can't work out 6 hours a day and pay your mortgage and take care of your family (unless you are really fortunate). So what happened to those folks? Why don't we hear about them?

The hardest thing about weight loss isn't losing it... it's keeping it off. And most likely, a lot of the contestants gained the weight back. I know. I've done it myself. And, that's my biggest concern right now, keeping my weight loss off. I realize that I will have to track my calories for the rest of my life. I realize I will always work out in some fashion. It won't have to be as hard as I am not since I'm in weight loss mode. Maintenance mode exercise isn't as hardcore, but it must be done.
So, is BL inspiring for me? No. Quite the opposite actually. Coming from my personal experiences, any drastic weight loss plan isn't sustainable for most of us, which is why you don't see BL parading the large number of previous contestants to show all of their success. It's a TV show meant to create drama for our own entertainment. I guess I just don't find it entertaining.